If it ain’t broke…

The fools over at Project for Public Spaces released their 16 Squares Most Dramatically in Need of Improvement survey, the top 16 urban spaces worldwide that could be transformed from embarrassments to great community places, and guess what they put at number 13? Dupont Circle

Yes, they say that the great Dupont Circle of Life isn’t up to par. In fact, they go so far as to say:

Many think DuPont Circle is the best destination in Washington. We think it is performing at 30% of its potential. The city has undergone a metamorphosis in the past ten years, with many areas gradually becoming more vital. However, there seems to be a limit to this improvement: a rigid adherence to a master plan that keeps many areas from coalescing into real destinations. DuPont Circle needs to be freed from that mold.


In fact, DuPont Circle could become a traffic-calmed, pedestrian friendly destination and quite possibly the core of a great urban district. Fulfilling this tremendous opportunity is essential if Washington is to become a world class city.

Now if I’m not mistaken, or hallucinating on any beautiful spring day, isn’t Dupont Circle already a “real destination”, “the core of a great urban district” and part of what makes Washington “a world class city”? I mean, call me crazy but its wall to wall people every time I walk by, a visual feast unparalleled anywhere in the District of Columbia.

The dumb asses can’t even spell it right. It’s “Dupont” not “DuPont”. And we like it that way! To quote City Desk:

If you mess with our circle, we’re gonna sic 24 bike couriers, 14 homeless men, 17 chess players, 22 yuppies sunning themselves, 3 bad guitar players, and a political button salesman on you!

3 Comments so far

  1. Joseph LeBlanc (unregistered) on January 5th, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

    On the other hand, what would Dupont Circle x 3.3333 look like?

  2. Don (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 11:17 am

    In fairness, I think Dupont is a poor mix of pedestrian and auto traffic in that it doesn’t well accommodate either. I also agree with them that it would be more pleasant if the auto traffic around it was 1/3 what it currently is.

    What they don’t say is something I certainly hope they’re smart enough to know – that the kind of thing they are talking about isn’t up to one agency, it’s two. Dupont Circle, like most of the public squares in the District, is under the control of the Fed but the streets around it are under the City governance.

    So to expand the park into a few of those traffic lanes as they would like to see, you’d either end up with some sort of ‘jawbreaker’ design where the core is National Park Service and the outer ring belongs to and is managed by the City or the City would have to cede that land to NPS. And that’s about as likely as me winning the Miss Norway pageant.

  3. Tiff (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 11:58 am

    But Don, you’d be so cute in a tiara and sash…

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